Top 15 FAQs for First-Time Home Sellers

Selling your home for the first time is a daunting task that can take an emotional and physical toll on you. There’s also the added anxiety of guarding against bad deals and swindlers. Here’s what you should ask as a novice home seller. 

1) How much is my house worth?

You can arrive at a satisfactory answer after surveying the local markets (and even national real estate conditions) and doing a comparative market analysis (considering house appreciation rates)  of property rates with respect to square feet, rooms, number of bathrooms, balconies, age of the building, property developer brand name, among other factors. You can get a primary estimate by using online calculators but you’d need a professional real estate agent/bank analysis to arrive at the correct assessment. 

Read: Signs That You Shouldn’t Sell Your Home Right Now

2) What should I do to prepare my house for sale?

You might consider starting with the basic cosmetic/structural repairs and fixes to make the house look clean and inviting (e.g. sealing cracks, painting). The goal is to make the house ready to move into. 

3) How much should I disclose about major repairs?

If extensive repairs are needed, you should not hide it from potential buyers, but rather offer to fix it or reduce the amount from the asking price. Honesty works better in the long run. 

4) How much does it cost to sell my house?

Several expenses may build-up, including payments for real estate agent commission (if you hire one), repairs and restorations, transfer of shares/sales deed, NOCs from government departments, Encumbrance Certificate, and other legal paperwork, lawyer’s fees should be factored in during the process. 

5) How should I generate interest in my property?

Spread word of mouth and get listed on reputed online property portals. Average listing times take anywhere from 1 to 180 months.  Interest may vary depending on the market conditions and the assessed/market value of the home. Keep the home clean, well-lit for buyer visits, and take good pictures to get online inquiries. 

6) Should I hire a real estate agent?

As a first-time seller, it’s highly recommended that you appoint reliable estate agents to navigate through the legal framework, market trends, and buyer insights. 

7) What improvements can I make to sell my house faster?

Several. From kitchen refurbishing, installing ACs, smart energy/water meters, fixing/replacing broken fixtures, fresh wall painting, upgrading cabinets, installing hardwood floors to luxurious curtains/ upholstery, you can decide which measures would accentuate the aesthetic and functional appeal of your home.

Read: Signs that you should sell your home soon

8) Is it the right time to sell my house?

This depends on home appreciation. Seek professional advice online, among friends, acquaintances to research the market conditions, however, there’s no problem in listing your property for sale regardless of the market condition. Check the local properties like yours that have recently sold. If the owners have been selling for more than the assessed/asking price, then you’re in the seller’s market. 

9) Is it better to show my house vacant or occupied?

Both have their own advantages. An occupied home may invoke a feeling of warmth and encourage buyers to immediately understand how it’d feel to live there. 

10) How do I handle offers?

Don’t jump the gun and grab any offer out of pressure or negotiation tactics from the buyers. While negotiating you must have a number in mind, less than which you will not go while negotiating. With multiple offers, shortlist those with whom there’s the possibility of negotiations and those that come close to your expectations and move forward from there. 

11) What if my house doesn’t sell or I don’t get the right price?

It may take time, patience is key. However, reassess the market prices, get feedback from potential buyers, change or add more real estate agents in the mix, repair any unsightly elements and if necessary, be flexible to negotiate a lower price than expected in dire cases. It’s better to wait it out though. 

12) What are the signs that a buyer may make an offer? 

Use your intuition and discernment as there’s no rule of thumb. But some indicators are palpable excitement when they first set foot in the home, a barrage of educated questions about the house, amenities, and other details, wanting to schedule a second viewing, talking about a renovation, redesign/decor, and a willingness to negotiate with the best results. 

13) How do I pick the right real estate agent?

Seek referrals and feedback from home buyers/sellers, look for a trustworthy person backed by experience. Enlist at least three real estate professionals whose values and beliefs match with yours. 

What are the things that you should ask your estate agent?


14) What features should I emphasize?

Highlight the distinct amenities like clubhouse, pool, composting facilities, etc. in your society. Focusing on modern technology features of gated communities like solar panels, smart meters, and safety equipment is a good way to build interest. Communities with an app like MyGate have an additional appeal of a holistic digital platform for maintenance payments, passcode-based entries, security, and communication management with several value-added features like discounted at-home deliveries, tie-ups with trusted brands, online amenities booking, and many more. 

15) Conclusion

First-time sellers should maintain a balanced approach when promoting their home, a mix of practicality, patience, and perseverance.

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